Back from the Gathering!

Gathering 2013 was my favorite so far.  I had so much fun!  This year afforded a lot more hanging out then in years past, which really increased the fun factor.  I have known many fellow Gathering attendees for many years, and met a lot of great new people, as well as got to spend time with many people I generally just see in passing.  I won’t list all the great folks whose company I enjoyed, but this was tons of fun, and thank you to everyone who spent time with me!  You were all great!!

This was the first year I taught at the Gathering.  I instructed to mini workshops, 7-10pm on Wednesday and Thursday!  I went knowing Wednesday was full, but Thursday only had 4 people enrolled.  I was so excited that Wednesday went so well that I had several more people sign up for Thursday giving me 2 full classes!!  We discussed how to approach shaping tools and how to trouble shoot when things aren’t going quite right.  The students did a great job and everyone said they learned what they were hoping to, so that was all I could hope for!  Ellen Gaimari and Kerry Bogert were fabulous TAs and I enjoyed my time with both of them.

We had a smaller number of attendees this year, but a very supportive group.  Thank you to everyone who supported us and the other vendors!

Inspiration was bountiful this year, as is always expected.  I was able to several of the presenters because the vendor area was right next door so I could slip in, watch for a while and still be around for my parents and customers with questions.  It was a great set up.  Jen Geldard did a fabulous demo of adding small glass components in the flame.  I’m itching to try that.  Holly and Ali made me green with envy over their stringer control and ability to work on one thing for hours.  Not my nature at all, but I am going to try to extend the time I work on one piece, just to see where I can go with that.  Libby showed how she makes her beautiful silvered glass pods, and I fully intend to give it a go.  I liked how she worked logically in a specific order, so the steps didn’t get in each other’s way.  I also loved her perspective on glass, and our history.  She pointed out that if you were a painter and had the opportunity to talk the the greats of the past, that gave the foundation of the art, like Picasso and Renoir, of course you would.  We are lucky to have our Picassos and Renoirs in the room with us, at the Gathering, and we should take the opportunity to talk with them, watch them, learn from them. I got bits and pieces of a couple other presentations and was impressed with what everyone was sharing.

The Bead Bizarre was stunning.  Getting to see the work up close, talk to the artists and and be inspired.  It’s one of my favorite parts of the Gathering each year.

The show that was onsite had some absolutely amazing pieces in it.  The talent in the members of the ISGB is really awe inspiring.  I talked for quite some time with Dvora about her piece, and was amazed with the amount of time spent on not just the whole necklace, but each individual piece.  She made cabochons one of which was done using a technique she learned from Bronwen that involves painting on glass and several firings.  Another was made by layer two colors of glass and carving into the top layer to reveal the one underneath, add to that some stunning silver work, itty bitty spacers, a blown glass piece that held the most beautiful beach sand I’ve ever seen.  It was amazing.  And talking to her was the highlight of the show for me.

I came home with glass, tools and other random goodies, along with lots of inspiration to get back to the torch.  Oh, and Beads of Courage was there, and they need more beads!  So if you have some time to make up a batch and send them along, they would really appreciate it.

After the Gathering I stayed an extra couple days to hang out with the fabulous Kerry Bogert.  She was the most delightful hostess, and her family was so great.  We had a lot of fun, including a marathon day of antiquing, checking our her fabulous Interweave press library…since she is the Acquisitions Editor for Interweave now, she has a wonderful selection of books.  I found a couple I need to pick up, and ordered another that isn’t from Interweave but is self published and is the most beautiful book about glass beads I’ve ever seen.  I’ll tell you all about it when my very own copy…ordered on the spot from Kerry’s living room, arrives.   I also got to meet the horses that reside near her studio, check out her studio, where I got to see her well loved ZooziiTools all neatly arranged, and relax on her deck.

I had wonderful pictures of all the fun, but had a phone malfunction, so there is not much to show, but I’m looking forward to Houston 2014!  Will you be there too?  I hope so.

Discount for the Gathering!

Going to the Gathering?

Have your wishlist all made out?

Want to pre-order, have us bring it to you at the Gathering, and receive 10% off your order?

  • Place an order online, use code: preorder
  • Select “Pick up at Gathering” as your shipping method.
  • We will make and bring your tools to the Gathering, and they will be set aside ready for you to pick up.

Your order will be 10% off, AND anything you purchase at the Gathering will also be 10% off, so you can still browse while you are there!

Does it get better than that?

This offer expires July 12 to ensure we have time to fill all orders before we head out for the Gathering!

Did you see the new Straight Sided Pillows?  Yes, they are awesome!


Winner Announced!

Thank you all for playing along with us!  Lori, Donna and I had a great time and were thrilled to do such a fun giveaway!  We hope you all enjoyed it too, and are not inspired to go to the torch to make all manner of fabulous new glass goodies!

The winner of her choice of a Slim Straight Sided Lentil Trio Small or Large is….

Penny Jeffers Mannix!

To find out the winner of Donna’s CG Beads Beadroller, head to her Site!

To find out the winner of Lori’s great beads, magazine, and a special surprise she added to the winnings, check out her blog!

And to all who didn’t win…Here is a great opportunity to save on the purchase of your own Straight Sided Lentil, any size, and in either Original or Slim profile.  Just use discount code PlayTogether during checkout!  15% off.  Discount code good until Friday 5/31 at midnight!

Happy Pressing!!


Playing Together a Free Tutorial

So, Lori told me about her idea to use the rollers and presses together, and it got me thinking.  I have the ribbed roller.  Well, I found a great way to use the ribbed small round spacer roller with my Slim Straight Sided Lentil presses

Finished-BeadsSo, in the spirit of our Playing Together giveaway, here is a free tutorial using them together!

Playing Together Tutorial


Happy Torching!!


We play well with others!

The combination of a round CG Beadroller and a Slim Straight Sided Lentil (Spree) can make judging glass for intricate designs a little easier!

Lori Bergmann figured out a fabulous trick for making her awesome zebra beads! She wrote about it in her column in Bead Design Studio, the April 2013 Issue.

Since we all love to play with other glassy folks, we decided to join together to share with you all the great tools necessary for you to try this yourself!  You have 3 places to enter, and 3 places to win, in our Cross-Promotion Giveaway!!

Lori is offering the magazine that contains the tutorial on her blog, along with the set of beads made for the tutorial!  Head over to her blog to enter to win!


Donna is offering the Round Beadroller on her blog!  You can enter for that on her site!

Zebra Fig.12(w)

Zoozii’s would like to offer a free press to the selected winner here!  So, please enter by commenting on this post!  You can tell us your favorite ZooziiTool, a creative use you have for a ZooziiTool, or How many ZooziiTools you have!  Get a second chance by commenting on our post about the giveaway on Facebook! What are you going to win from Zoozii’s?

A Slim Straight Sided Lentil Trio Small which contain cavities in size 13, 15, 18mm.


A Slim Straight Sided Lentil Trio Large which contain cavities in size 15, 18, and 21!

Lori used the 18mm size cavity so either press will give you the cavity you want.

Zebra Fig.15(w)

Check back here later this week, I’ll be posting my little trick using a bead roller, our press and some double helix glass, which was inspired by Lori sharing her tip with me!

SlimSSL3Lg[1]All 3 giveaways end Monday May 27th, at Midnight, with winners announced, on each page, on Tuesday!!

It’s my party and I’ll cry if I want to… March 28, 2013

My previous post was a bit premature…thinking I was crawling out of the crazy month of March, only to emerge into a state of peace and productivity, to enjoy our Birthday/Anniversary Party with you.  Ah, the foolishness of thinking you see ahead of you…since then the transmission went, inconveniently away from home, of course, in my 10 year old PT Cruiser…which has been making unpleasant engine sounds anyway, and had a couple other fixes on the docket, so this was the nail in the coffin.  Enter car search.  Found a solid used vehicle, that didn’t break the bank.  phew.

A couple other “life happens” events, and here we are at the end of March.  It came in like a lion, with huge snow storms, amidst a storm of busy activity around here…at least the weather is looking a bit more “out like a lamb”.  We had temps in the high 40′s, with sun and clear skies.  In New Hampshire that’s practically shorts weather!

Don Breingan's photo.

So, April.  April is going to be our Birthday party.  Because March was a lousy Birthday month…during which my own little one turned 4,while we were having a huge snow storm, and I had a stomach bug.  It’s a great thing that one of her favorite pass times is cuddling with mama, so she felt she had a rocking birthday, snuggle on the couch, reading books and learning to knit…with cupcakes for dinner.

So this whole post isn’t just all about me, and why March went so poorly, let’s remember that we now have a larger Deco Drop, which is just stunning!  I love using it as a vase of sorts, but it is quite able to stand on it’s own.  The decorating possibilities are endless.  I find this one inspirational.  The shape is very sleek and refined, making a great canvas for elegant stringer work, but oh the fun you could have with bright colors and dots that would juxtapose nicely with the great lines this has.  So yes, inspirational, fun, and on the site, at a discounted price.  So see, we can have a little fun in March!  Don’t forget there is the Deco Drop Duo that has 2 smaller sizes.  Great for earrings, and small pendants.  They are discounted to, because…why not?  No discount code necessary.  The store has the discounted price loaded!  Happy shopping.

Off to ship some orders, and make some beads. I have testers to give my final okay to, so we can all party together, with no tears in April!!!



Emerging March 15, 2013

Have you ever felt like you were physically emerging from a hole or tunnel, after a period of life being crazy?  I felt like that today.  The past 2 weeks have been not just busy, but so many things needing to be coordinated, all at once, with many people involved, as well as lots of activities that were out of my comfort zone.  I’m heading into this weekend, with the last of some loose ends to get tied up, and to get back to life as usual…at least that is what I can see from my current life vantage point!

One of the things that was outside my comfort zone was submitting 2 tutorials to Soda Lime Times for the April issue of their great glass magazine!  I am thankful to Diane for the opportunity, and it was a blast!  If you’d like to see the tutorials, subscribe to her online magazine.

My first tutorial was a fun technique for adding depth to buttons made on a cabochon mandrel.  The tutorial shows you how to convert the cabochon to a button, as well.  I love these buttons!

ButtonsTools needed for this tutorial, as published  1″ Round Cabochon Mandrel, Bullseye Texture Plate and Domed Marver.

The second tutorial is how to make a Hex Knob, using our Hex Knob press.  I demonstrate how to outline those facets, that are just calling out to be shown off.  This knob reminds me of a Tiffany Lampshade.FinishedWhiteFrontTools needed for this tutorial, as published, Hex Knob Press, Make-A-Knob Kit, or buy them together for a little less!

I had a lot of fun with the tutorials, and I hope you find them fun, helpful and inspirational!  Having these 2 under my belt, has me itching to try a few more.

In addition to magazine deadlines, the studio has undergone a very exciting change!  A widow!!  A 5 foot by 6 foot window, on the south side of the house!  The sun that comes in there now is beautiful!  We installed a new ventilation system too.  The ventilation used to be a kitchen fan in the window, but now the ventilation is in the wall, so that little east facing window has been freed up too!  Light, makes ALL the difference.  The studio has a fair amount of work left to be done, including taping/mudding/sanding/priming/and painting the walls, finding the perfect studio table, constructing proper glass storage, and some built in shelving for miscellaneous supplies, but even being in this very “yet to be done” space is such a pleasure, so it can only get better from here!

South Facing window, overlooking the pasture.

South Facing window, overlooking the pasture.

You can expect to see pictures of the various animals you’ll see out my window, while I torch, as this window overlooks the pasture on my small farm!

Well, hopefully I have emerged from this hole and a little rest can get me back into a rhythm!

It’s our birthday this month, so we need to get this party started!  So some of the busy has been behind the scenes fun, for some great new tools!  I’m super excited…I hope you will be too!